This past week has been incredible! First off I love being a missionary! There is nothing in this world like it! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord and for those who have helped to make it possible for me to be able to be here both temporally and spiritually! It's my prayer that the Lord will bless y'all for helping me be able to be here. Texas is a wonderful place to serve and the Lord's work is progressing here! It cannot be stopped! No matter how hard the Adversary tries he will lose every time in the end.
We received instruction from a member of the quorum of the seventy. Elder Ellis and also his wife. We had a zone conference with him and our mission president and other mission leaders on Wednesday. It was incredible! The spirit was poured out and we were all instructed and edified. The trainings were on subjects such as FAITH, The Lords way and our Wonderful Journey. We have already seen some of the blessings that have come from having Elder Ellis tour our mission. He gave a wonderful conference talk entitled "The Lords Way" which we were asked to read in preparation to hearing him speak to us. It spoke of how we are to work the Lords way and not our way. His way is best and His way is Higher than ours. He Spoke to us how it is a matter of FAITH. Faith is an interesting word. As members of the church we understand its true meaning better than most people it seems. Many people who do not have the fullness of the gospel have been taught that faith is belief in something. But it's much deeper than just that. Yes Faith is belief but it is a principle of power and action. Faith is putting our beliefs into action trusting completely on the Lord to make things right. To keep His promises and show forth His power. We were told to have more faith and to use it.
We were then instructed by Sister Ellis on how our missions are all part of our glorious journey in this life. She helped to bring the perspective and reminded us of the blessings that come to those who serve the Lord. She also spoke of how all things are possible unto those that have faith.
Well after having instruction like this we tried to apply it to our individual area. Over the past few weeks our mission has been striving to teach 4 lessons a week with a member friend present in each of our individual areas. President Durrant calls it striving for being a 4.0 mission. This week Elder Johnson and I have done all that we could to reach that goal. We have tried weeks past but haven't gotten too far. Well this week we saw miracles take place all week! We knew it was possible for our area to reach this goal but it has not happened in about a year. Teaching with members is more difficult when everyone is spread out in the country. Well by the end of Thursday we only had taught one of our investigators with a friend there. We called a member in the ward and asked if he and his wife could come to a lesson on Saturday afternoon with us to teach our investigator A. When we had thought of who would be a good friend for her we felt as though they were the friends she needed. He told us that he would not be able to come teach with us because he had a meeting that day for the young men down in Henderson. We thought of some others who we could take but didn't really get anywhere. So we just hoped everything would work out. Well it did. Saturday morning we took a young man in the ward to our lesson with B. Our lesson went well and B. said he was planning on coming to church the next day. We then went to take T. ( the young man) home and when we did his older Brother who we had called earlier in the week to come with us to teach A. was home. When we dropped of his younger brother T., he came out to talk to us and said. "When I woke up this morning I was feeling sick so I figured I shouldn't go to the meeting but I'm feeling completely fine now so what time was that appointment y'all had today?" We said 2 pm and they were able to come both he and his wife. We went to teach A. and she said that she had meant to give us a call because she was going to go to the park with her 4 yrs old son. Elder Johnson said that's ok we can go with you and talk there. She said ok and we went over to the park.Lets just say it was a great! The sister we brought with us connected with her really good and they just talked for about an hour and a half then we answered A.'s questions. A. then said that she wants to come to church and got B.'s phone number. It was a miracle!
Then on Sunday we taught E. and L. and shared with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They didn't have any objections to it but they still will not come to church because E. does his ministry to all these different churches and he just says I'll come when God tells me to. When we talked about baptism we were really bold in how important priesthood authority is for baptism. There was no sugar coating in that lesson. They took it well but I'm sure they have a lot to think of. We don't have a scheduled return appointment but they said they would call us because this next month is really busy for them. We told them that if we don't hear back from them in a week or two then we will be calling them to see how they are doing and if we can come back over. I love these people and they would be such great members here! They would strengthen the Marshall ward so much! He is still reading in the Book of Mormon though and he has told us that he is praying about it. He will receive the answer he is looking for soon enough.
C. came to church yesterday and our lesson with her on Monday went great as well. She really liked the Plan of Salvation and had really good questions. She is so prepared! We set a baptismal date with her for March 22nd and she will be completely ready for it by then. We were told that she even has a friend who she wants us to meet. So we are looking forward to our next lesson with her!
Also this week we started to knock a street and the first person we spoke to was a nice gentleman who said "well everyone has a church on this street so y'all don't really need to waist your time." Well that sure wasn't going to stop us so we said "Well thanks for your time it was nice talking to you and we'll talk to your neighbors and see what they think." Two doors down we met a nice man named C. He asked if he could help us when he answered the door (He has southern hospitality) and we said "Yes we are missionaries and are out sharing a message about Jesus Christ and how His church has been restored to the earth. Would you be willing to learn more about how this has taken place." He said yes and we talked to him for a little while and explained what we do and a little about what we share and he said he wants to know more and he wants to talk to his fiance and his mom about it because he thinks that they would both like to hear about it too. It was great!
Then to top it all of we found out just how much the Lord helped us this week on Sunday evening when we went over to our ward mission leaders home and gave him a large print Book of Mormon for his niece and we were talking to them and he is the father of 2 of the members we took to our lessons on Saturday. (A. and B.) His wife mentioned that T. wasn't at church that day because he had gotten a fever. He had gotten strep that past Wednesday and then was doing really good on Saturday then on Sunday he woke up sick and then I remembered how T. and B. were miraculously able to come teach A. with us. That's when I saw that my fasting and prayers had been answered with Miracles! The Lord does His work In His own way! I'm so grateful for the blessings he has seen fit to bestow on us. Remember it's a matter of faith. We do all we can to do it the Lord's way and then He makes it all happen!
Love y'all tons!
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen